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The French saying "Petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid"

You are going to discover all the things you need to know about the inspirational French proverb "Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid". This include a complete guide of what it mean and how to use it in a conversation with an audio example. And also the cool things we added like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonyms and more!

English translation

  • Translation : Every little bit helps

  • Literal meaning : Little by little, the bird builds its nest

  • Register : Informal - Inspirational

Pronunciation example



  • IPA : / pəti a pəti, lwazo fɛ sɔ̃ ni. /

aesthetic french quote petit a petit loiseau fait son nid

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What does it mean exactly?


"Petit à petit" literally means "Little by little" and "L'oiseau fait son nid" literally means "The bird builds his nest".

Let's imagine a bird carrying twigs, brushwoods and other little pieces of wood all day to build his nest. No matter how long he takes to complete his task, no matter how many back and forth are required, there is no doubt he will succeed.

Because birds and humans can't achieve "big" things, they can only achieve many little things that bring them closer to their goals.

This proverb teaches us that with patience and perseverance: everything is possible, no matter how hard the task.

How to use it

We can use these wise words as a reminder of being patient and never give up on our dreams, but also to inspire and motivate people.

For example, if a friend thinks of quitting a commitment/project, afraid of the hard work to come, reminds him/her that "Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid". That just like the bird, with patience and dedication, he/she will make it.


↓ Example in a story with slow audio ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

Prise de poids

Weight gain

Rémi regarde dans le miroir et dit :
Rémi looks in the mirror and says:
RémiJe n'arrive pas à y croire !
I can't believe it!
Karine se détourne de son ordinateur et regarde Rémi.
Karine looks away from her computer and looks at Rémi.
KarineQu'est-ce que tu n'arrives pas à croire ?
What can't you believe?
RémiJe fais de la musculation et je ne vois aucun résultat !
I'm doing weight training and I don't see any results!
KarineTu as commencé quand ?
When did you start?
RémiIl y a une semaine environ.
About a week ago.
KarineTu ne penses pas qu'il est trop tôt pour voir les résultats ?
Don't you think it's too early to see results?
RémiNon, je pense qu'il est temps.
No, I think it's time.


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Tant qu'il y a de la vie, il y a de l'espoir


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C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron

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